New Jersey’s Juvenile Waiver Reform and the Nexus Between Adolescent Development and Criminal Responsibility

By Ellen Torregrossa-O'Connor |   Oct. 20, 2015

My article entitled “New Jersey’s Juvenile Waiver Reform and the Nexus Between Adolescent Development and Criminal Responsibility” appears in the October 2015 edition of New Jersey Lawyer. It contains my discussion of the important recent changes to New Jersey's juvenile justice system. New Jersey Lawyer is the bimonthly publication of the New Jersey State Bar Association. Each issue focuses on a particular area of substantive law and this edition addresses the legal rights of juveniles. View the full article, here:

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Topics : Juvenile Waiver Reform, Juvenile Justice System, New Jersey Lawyer Magazine | 0 Comments Read More

New Jersey Appeals Court: Juveniles are Entitled to a Hearing before they are Forced to Serve their Sentence in Adult Prison

By Darren M. Gelber |   Aug. 30, 2012

In New Jersey’s juvenile court system, family court judges are invested with a great deal of discretion about what to do with juveniles who are adjudicated delinquent for committing acts that would constitute crimes had they been committed by an adult. For example, depending on the facts and circumstances of each case, and surrounding each juvenile, the family court can allow a juvenile to serve a term of probation, can place him or her in the custody of a residential treatment program, and, in appropriate cases, commit the juvenile to the custody of the Juvenile Justice Commission to serve a term of confinement in juvenile facility. Juvenile facilities are typically more focused on a rehabilitative model than their adult prison counterparts. A central theme in juvenile facilities is that investing time and resources into a juvenile who seems to be on a wayward path may prevent future involvement in the criminal justice system as an adult. By comparison, adult correctional facilities these days are focused more on punishment than rehabilitation, with budgetary constraints limiting available programming for adult defenders even more.

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Topics : Juvenile Justice System, Constitutional Rights | 2 Comments Read More

Contradicting Court Opinions On Expungement Of Juvenile Adjudications

By Darren M. Gelber |   Jul. 18, 2012

Within the span of about four weeks, the Superior Court, Appellate Division issued two separate opinions with seemingly contradictory interpretations of an important provision of our state’s expungement statutes. The issue is of particular importance to parents of children facing juvenile delinquency charges, and to anyone who, in the past, has faced juvenile delinquency charges. Generally speaking, someone’s eligibility to have a particular arrest, charge or conviction expunged depends upon the type of charge involved, how the charge was resolved and whether the applicant for expungement has satisfied any applicable waiting period. With only very limited exceptions, if an expungement is granted, the event is deemed not to have occurred and a person is entitled by law to answer any questions accordingly.

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Topics : Juvenile Justice System, expungements | 1 Comment Read More

Should Juvenile Offenders Be Entitled to a Trial by Jury?

By Darren M. Gelber |   Jun. 4, 2012

Teenager Under ArrestThe theoretical purposes of New Jersey's juvenile justice system have evolved over the years. While at one time our juvenile courts were based on a largely rehabilitative model, one designed principally to attempt to provide assistance to wayward youth, that mission has changed dramatically over the years. Presently, juvenile offenders face significant penalties in our juvenile courts, and the focus (unfortunately) seems to have shifted away from rehabilitation toward a more traditional form of penal consequence, such as incarceration.

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Topics : Juvenile Justice System, incarceration, rehabilitation, Michael Chazen, trial by jury, Megan's Law | 0 Comments Read More

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